Friday, October 07, 2016

Prosecutor Cross-Examines Ammon Bundy For 15 Minutes

A federal prosecutor spent little more than 15 minutes cross-examining Ammon Bundy, who for the last three days has been testifying in his defense in the trial of seven people accused of occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. In a series of rapid-fire questions, Assistant U.S. Attorney Ethan Knight asked Bundy about his leadership of the occupation, his views on public lands and the presence of firearms on the refuge. Knight began by asking if Bundy was the leader of the occupation. When Bundy said no, Knight pointed to earlier testimony in which Bundy referred to himself as “sort of” the leader. Bundy then clarified by saying he teaches the people principles and then lets them govern themselves. Knight also asked Bundy if he had a $530,000 federal loan back by the Small Business Administration to support his fleet management business. Regarding the loan, Bundy responded “I’m not sure that’s not allowed by the Constitution.” During cross-examination, Bundy acknowledged he hoped to take over the refuge through adverse possession — a common law principle that allows a person to occupy and manage property as a way to transfer ownership. Knight asked Bundy if he made changes to the refuge. Bundy said he had made changes to refuge signs but denied building a road or accessing government computers. Earlier in the day during direct testimony and then questioning by the defense, Ammon Bundy said that he ate at a local Chinese restaurant, got a haircut and visited his home in Idaho three times — all while the occupation was going on. Bundy testified he was never arrested as he went about everyday business during the midst of the takeover. But that isn’t to say he didn’t notice a police presence around the refuge. “You couldn’t go through Burns without seeing law enforcement,” Bundy told the court...more

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